[Homestead] Era of Unease Addendum, McCain ordeal
tvoivozd at infionline.net
Thu Sep 30 19:55:16 EDT 2004
The McCain ordeal Bush dishonored.
hen McCain's plane was downed Oct. 26, 1967, he was fished out of
Hanoi's Truc Bach lake by a Vietnamese civilian. He made a 15-minute
visit there today, walking with his wife and son alongside a retaining
wall to a memorial of the incident.
"Everything happened very quickly," McCain said. "I broke both my arms
and a leg, and I was dragged ashore and I was beaten once I was pulled
His reception was friendly today. A crowd gathered at the sight of
McCain and a throng of media, and several Vietnamese came up to shake
his hand and pose for pictures with his family.
McCain was held until March 1973 at Hoa Lo Prison, which the POWs
nicknamed the "Hanoi Hilton." He said his hardships included beatings, a
lack of proper medical treatment for injuries, and a total of three
years in solitary confinement for what his captors called a "bad attitude."
He twice tried to hang himself, using his shirt as a noose, but was
caught both times by the guards, who then beat him.
"I couldn't control my despair," McCain wrote in his autobiography. "All
my pride was lost, and I doubted I would ever stand up to any man again.
Nothing could save me."
McCain visited the prison on one of his previous seven trips to Vietnam,
saying today that it brought back "a flood of memories."
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